Tiramisu was created for the Grand Duke Cosimo de Medici III in the 17th century. It was given the name “zuppa del duca” or duke’s soup.
Sweeten coffee with sugar. Allow to cool. Line 6 dessert bowls with half the sponge fingers, sugar side down, breaking up to fit. Sprinkle over half the coffee. Break up the chocolate.
Whisk the cream, 50g sugar and the mascarpone in a bowl until smooth. Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Remove bowl from heat. Stir in a little of the mascarpone mixture.
Stir chocolate mixture into the remaining mascarpone mixture. Add to the dessert bowls, reserving a little for decoration. Spread level, then top with the remaining sponge fingers. Sprinkle over the remaining coffee.
Gently press down the sponge fingers, then top with the reserved chocolate mixture. Dust with cocoa. Chill for at least 30 minutes. Decorate with mint sprigs and serve at once.
This wonderful dessert can be made up to 2 days ahead. Cover with foil or non-PVC cling film and chill until ready to serve.
Try this classic dessert after an Italian main course, such as thin and crispy mushroom pizzas. For added indulgence, serve the tiramisu with whipped cream or ice cream.
Instant espresso coffee is ideal for making the strong coffee required for cooking. For a more luxurious taste, use fresh filter coffee instead.